The 26th November is stir up Sunday, this is the last Sunday of the year before advent starts. On stir up Sunday households would traditionally make their Christmas puddings ready for Christmas Day. There is a strong religious association with Christmas pudding, historically it would contain 13 different ingredients to represent Jesus and his disciples. When the pudding was mixed, each family member would take it in turns to give it a stir and a silver sixpence would be hidden in the pudding before steaming.
Now I’m sure you’re thinking, all this talk of Christmas pudding is well and good, but why has she made rum mincemeat and candied peel? I’m actually away this weekend, so I won’t have a chance to participant in stir up Sunday. However, I always make a batch of rum mincemeat for my festive baking and I love to have my own candied peel, as it adds so much more flavour to your baked goods.
This candied peel would make a fantastic addition to your Christmas pudding and you can make the rum mincemeat, if like me you’re busy on stir-up Sunday, or you just run of out of time to make a pudding. The fantastic thing about the rum mincemeat is that it’s vegetarian and it doesn’t need to be left for a long time for the flavour to develop. It can be used straight away, but it is better if you can leave it for a couple of days to give the flavours a chance to marry.
Also the quantities for each ingredient are just a guide, I use it as a way to clear out my cupboards of any half-opened bags of dried fruit and nuts I have used throughout the year. So as long as you keep the total quantity the same, this recipe will work out perfectly. Fruits like dates, apricots, sultanas, even dried pineapple would be lovely in this dish, any other nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds would also work really well.
The candied peel is great in Christmas cake, puddings, as a decoration, or you can even slice it in strips, let it air dry and coat it in granulated sugar and/or melted chocolate.
I hope these couple of recipes get you on your way with your Christmas baking. I’ll show you some more ways to use the candied peel and rum mincemeat other the next few weeks, but for now take a look at these mincemeat Danish pastries, clementine and mincemeat cake and this chocolate olive oil cake.
- 3-4 Navel Oranges (around 750g)
- 500-600ml Water
- 375g Caster Sugar
- 1 Vanilla Pod or 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- Score around the outside of the oranges in quarters, and gently using your fingers take off each quarter of the peel.
- Bring a pan of water to the boil then add the orange peel and boil for two minutes.
- Drain the peel and discard the water.
- Refresh the peel in cold water, and then repeat the blanching process twice more.
- Put the 500ml of water, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Add the drained orange peel and bring back to a boil, then reduce to a low heat and continue to cook for around 2 hours, until the orange is soft and candied.
- Store in an airtight container along with it's syrup for up to 1 month.
- 350g Raisins
- 100g Dried Cranberries
- 175g Candied/Mixed Peel
- 175g Soft Pitted Prunes, chopped
- 1 Eating Apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
- 50g Pecans, roughly chopped
- 225g Dark Muscovado Sugar
- 1 ½ Tsp Mixed Spice
- 1 Lemon, grated rind and juice
- 125g Butter, cut into cubes
- 150ml Dark/Golden Rum
- Combine all of the ingredients apart from the butter and rum in a large bowl and stir to combine.
- Place the butter in a pan big enough to fit all of the other ingredients and melt the butter gently, don't allow it to bubble, you don't want to fry the fruit.
- Tip in the dried fruit and bring up to temperature, when the sugar has melted warm the mincemeat for 10 minutes and stir regularly to stop it catching on the bottom of the pan.
- While the mincemeat is cooking sterilise your jars - the easiest way to do this is to wash the jars in warm soapy water, then dry them and place them in an oven preheated to 110C Fan, leave the jars for a few minutes and then remove them from the oven and place them somewhere safe to cool down.
- After 10 minutes take the pan off the heat and allow the mincemeat to cool.
- When the mincemeat is no longer steaming, add the rum and stir to coat all of the fruit. spoon the mincemeat into the sterilized jars and put on the lids.
- The mincemeat should keep in a cool dark place for at least two months.
Thanks for reading.